The Day The Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Bess’ family is well-to-do, living above Niagra Falls in Canada. She has another year at school and her sister, Isabelle, is engaged to the son of a very wealthy man. Suddenly, though, her whole world falls apart when her father’s aluminum speculation fails and he is fired from his job. As Isabelle’s fiance was their father’s boss, she soon finds herself newly unengaged. Now Bess is no longer able to go back to school, has a family which is extremely hard up for money, a father who is spending his days drinking, and a sister who is beyond mopey. The one bright spot in Bess’ life is Tom, an orphaned boy living in a hotel who catches and sells fish and drags ‘floaters’ out from below the falls. Although Tom is considered beneath Bess socially, she can’t get him out of her head.
“The Day The Falls Stood Still” was a lovely piece of historical fiction. I have not read much historical fiction based in the early part of the 20th century, but this book really gave me a sense of time and place. I enjoyed reading about Bess’ development through her hardships and adored the character of Tom, with his passion for the river. This book didn’t grab me by the lapels and force me to read it, but it was enjoyable enough that I finished it in just a couple of days.
If you’re interested in being immersed in WWI-era culture of the Niagra Falls area, as well as issues of conservation and modernization, definitely pick this up.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review.